US Representative to the UN Kelly Craft criticized China over what she said was a “decision to hide the origins of this virus, minimize its danger, and suppress scientific cooperation.” Craft claimed Beijing’s actions “transformed a local epidemic into a global pandemic.”
China’s Zhang Jun swiftly rejected Craft’s characterization of events.
“I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Zhang said.
“Regrettably, we have once again heard noises from the US that are so at odds with the atmosphere of the meeting.”
Zhang added that Beijing rejected the “baseless” accusations.
The spat came two days after US President Donald Trump used much of his pre-recorded video address to the General Assembly to blame China for the Covid-19 pandemic and for withholding information about the virus.
On Tuesday, Trump accused Beijing of “allowing flights to leave China and infect the world” and referred to Covid-19 as the “China virus” on Tuesday.
The Russian representative at the Thursday session also criticized Craft’s accusations.
“We regret the fact that the representative of the United States chose this meeting and the platform of the UN Security Council to make unfounded accusation against one of the members of the Security Council,” said Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.
Covid-19 has loomed heavily over this year’s summit, which was forced online due to the pandemic and the 14-day quarantine regulations in New York City.
UN Secretary General António Guterres has repeatedly pleaded for unity between member states and warned on Thursday that the relationship between the US and China was moving “in a very dangerous direction.”
Thursday’s Security Council meeting was held virtually.